Curriculum

RATIONALE

The curriculum has been carefully crafted to ensure a balanced coverage of core and foundation subjects. We believe that our children engage better with contextual learning and thus, have developed a cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning. This methodology to teaching is parallel to the way in which children learn in Jewish Studies (Kodesh) lessons where the children are always immersed in a rich text imbued with meaning.

As a Jewish school, we recognise Kodesh as a core subject and dedicate part of our curriculum to instilling Jewish values and preparing our children to be responsible and caring citizens. Giving Tzedakah (charity), visiting the sick and elderly, working with charities that care for those in need or the disabled enrich our children’s lives and develop their moral compass for adulthood. Celebrating Shabbat and learning about festivals in school develop a love of Torah, which we aim to enhance through music and art. Each festival provides opportunities for art whereby the children create a piece of artwork which is not only artistic, but is also meaningful – something they are proud to take home and discuss with their family. Shabbat Oneg and regular Hebrew singing lessons foster a deep spiritual connection that we hope will remain with our children for life. Daily Tefillah also provides the children with a time to connect to Hashem – a time for mindfulness - which is hugely beneficial in deepening their thinking with regard to improving their mutual respect and tolerance of others.

HUMANITIES

Our curriculum encompasses the core elements of English: Reading, Writing and SPAG, together with History and Geography objectives. Half-termly units begin with an immersion in the text alongside a development of their historical or geographical knowledge. Formulating perceptive questions is inherent in our Jewish history learning and we encourage the children to emulate this in secular history lessons, in order to inspire curiosity about the past. In order to develop their curiosity about the world, we use maps and atlases as a starting point to deepen their locational knowledge. The rationale behind using a quality text, which relates to the chosen Humanities topic, is to fully engage and immerse children in a topic or theme, in order to generate enthusiasm and encourage knowledge-sharing across lessons.

For full exposure to the topic, our children regularly enjoy a related outing e.g. museums, themed days and outdoor experiences. To complement this, we invite guest speakers to share first-hand knowledge on a range of topics e.g. Holocaust survivor.

ENGLISH

Children write daily across a range of text types – fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Alongside the quality text studied, children are immersed in the focus text type, exposing them to the language and structural features of this. Equipping children with the skills to identify, analyse and write varying text types enables them to write for a range of audience and purposes, as well as developing an awareness of this. We have developed a document which outlines the text types taught in each year group, ensuring that there is progression across the key stages.

We aspire for children to develop deeper thinking skills in order to refine their work; editing and proofreading is paramount to this. This process aims to familiarise children with the notion that ‘writing is words on a page, while editing brings writing to life’. Through self-assessment and peer-assessment, children are encouraged to evaluate their work, building resilience and writing stamina.  This process is enhanced through author visits during our annual Book Week – an opportunity for children to be inspired by real-life writers – combined with the myriad of texts on sale at our Book Fair.

Throughout each topic, children are given the opportunity to develop their Humanities knowledge, through building key skills: reading, research and note-taking. This accumulated knowledge is then applied during writing lessons, creating a synergy between Humanities and English.

PHONICS

Phonics is a key part of the curriculum at Beit Shvidler. Integral to our phonics teaching is the Read Write Inc scheme, however, we have adapted it to meet the needs of our children. Both in Reception and Year One, phonics is fully integrated across all areas of the curriculum. The building blocks are set in Nursery in readiness to start the formal phonic teaching in Reception.

In Nursery, the children are exposed to the idea of different sounds in our environment, using multisensory activities and active learning through actions, stories and songs. The lessons are all child focused and creative to introduce the children to the first steps of systematic synthetic phonics through play.

Reception follows the main format of the Read Write Inc programme. We teach them the alphabetic code (set 1) and to blend these sounds into words (real and alien words), before we move on to set 2. The children learn to write the sounds and words and start forming sentences. The children learn actions to go with each grapheme to help the kinaesthetic learners. These actions are used when the children identify the sound when reading or writing in both Reception and Year One. Early in the Reception year the children are exposed to “tricky (red) words” that cannot be decoded. Lots of emphasis is placed on consolidating set 1 and set 2 sounds to ensure they are secure in their knowledge for Year One. Regular meetings are held in the summer term between the Reception and Year One teachers to ensure a smooth transition for September.

Read Write Inc is continued in Year One which ensures consistency of phonics teaching. Furthermore, we continue to work on tricky and alien words to move on the children’s learning. In addition, we focus on alternative graphemes and how to make sensible choices in our writing. Continual assessment takes place to promote positive learning outcomes, set at the correct speed for each child. With this knowledge, we set up early interventions to provide additional support.

MATHEMATICS

To enable our children to become the most mathematically-proficient, we have employed ‘Maths No Problem’, an evidence-based approach to teaching Maths. This incorporates a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach (CPA) which we believe is highly effective in developing a deep and sustainable understanding of maths in pupils. Maths No Problem follows an alternative method of teaching and thinking; developing children’s problem solving skills underpins the lessons.

Maths is a life-long skill – one which the foundations are built in primary school, and built on through practice and application. Therefore, this mastery approach focuses on children developing their mathematical fluency and understanding of Maths in a wider context. The aim is that children can then apply these higher-level problem solving skills to solve non-routine maths problems in varying contexts, without having to memorise procedures. Fundamentally, Maths No Problem helps pupils to develop a deep, long-term and adaptable understanding of Maths.

We recognise that concepts should be fully developed before moving on and therefore, pupils will have plenty of practice to embed ideas. The benefit is that struggling learners will be fully supported through accessing concrete equipment and use of visual models to support understanding. Similarly, confident learners will be challenged through exposure to unfamiliar problems, development of reasoning skills and by exploring multiple ways to manipulate numbers and solve problems. This inclusive approach allows all children to achieve, with concepts being revisited at higher levels as the curriculum spirals through the years.

Maths No Problem aims to develop the following core competencies: 

Metacognition:

Children are required to develop higher order thinking skills in order to approach tasks.

Visualisation:

This gives children a secure and sustainable understanding of mathematical concepts by developing consistent models and images throughout.

Generalisation:

This encourages children to explore patterns and find relationships between numbers. 

Number Sense:

Children with good number sense can manipulate numbers to make calculations easier and are flexible in their approach to solving problems. They can assess the reasonableness of an answer, and routinely estimate answers before calculating.

Communication:

An essential part of the learning process; children work in groups to solve problems as well as reflecting upon and clarifying their mathematical ideas and understanding.

 SCIENCE

In order to promote enquiry and investigation further, we have implemented Switched on Science – a curriculum that combines hands on science and practical knowledge, ensuring our children leave primary school equipped with core scientific facts, methods and skills alongside an excitement and curiosity for the subject. Developing children’s enthusiasm for science is imperative to us, and thus we encourage our children to observe the natural and man-made world around them, forming questions and generating discussion. Our annual science week generates further enthusiasm as children conduct a variety of more thrilling experiments and participate in externally-led workshops.

Each year group are exposed to six half-termly topics, with the aim being for children to develop a secure understanding of each block of knowledge and concepts before progressing to the next stage. Through practical experimentation, our children are given the opportunity to explore and investigate, considering how to apply their results to everyday life. As with all areas of our curriculum, we endeavour for science to be all-encompassing, encouraging our children to make links and form conclusions about the wider world.

COMPUTING

We understand the immense value technology plays not only in supporting the Computing curriculum but also in the world we live in today. Technology is rapidly advancing and thus, we must develop children who are both technologically-astute as well as enthuse and equip them with the capability to use technology throughout their lives. Furthermore, we endeavour to hone in on the wider opportunities that Computing can provide: enhanced collaborative learning; better engagement of pupils and development of critical thinking and reflective learning skills.

In order to address these aims, we have chosen the Purple Mash Computing Scheme of Work from Reception to Year 6. The scheme of work ensures delivery of engaging lessons, which help to raise standards and allow all pupils to achieve to their full potential. We are confident that this carefully crafted scheme of work expertly meets the national vision for Computing, providing immense flexibility and strong cross-curricular links.

Our curriculum offers progression across three main strands: computer science, information technology and digital literacy. In EYFS, this begins with a broad, play-based experience of Computing in a range of contexts, allowing our children to explore the technology around them. This is developed into understanding, writing and testing programs together with using search technologies effectively.

Whilst we are aware that the Internet is an exceptional tool for learning, creativity and engagement, we are conscious of the challenges it can present. We therefore address these via teaching an e-safety unit to each year group as well as using external agencies such as Streetwise and NSPCC to emphasise the message in assemblies and workshops.

MUSIC

The Music Curriculum has been carefully designed to develop the children’s skills in the areas of performing, composing and listening and to enhance their understanding of the musical elements.  Sometimes projects will link to topics that the children are learning about in class or the festivals around the Jewish year, but always with the intention of building their musical abilities and encouraging the exploration of any themes in a fresh, musical way.

At EYFS, a huge emphasis is placed upon feeling the pulse, as this forms the basis of many of the more complex skills the children will learn further up the school.  Music lessons at this stage are mostly based around songs which the children learn to sing and then add instruments and/or actions to enhance musical expression.  Children also learn what the school percussion instruments are, what they sound like, how they feel to play and what their names are.  They work at learning to play and stop in the right places and how to make patterns of sounds.   There is plenty of movement at this stage to encourage children to feel the music in their bodies.

At KS1, the skills learned in Early Years are built upon with simple composition, often using graphic scores with shapes and pictures, to enable children to begin to think about connecting what they see with what they hear.  The musical elements are constantly reinforced to allow them to become familiar with musical terminology, and different sessions of each project link to different elements to allow children to explore these more fully.  They learn to play the instruments with more deliberation rather than just making the sounds.

In lower KS2, children develop all of these skills.  They learn simple rhythm notation and begin to understand how pitch can be written down.  They explore the timbres of the instruments in a more complex way, creating thoughtful music around different themes and looking at how choosing different instruments creates different effects.  At upper KS2, the children focus on different topics to develop their understanding of different types of music.  In Y5, one topic studied is the Blues – the history, the style and structure.  They learn to play, sing and improvise on a 12-bar blues and then they write their own verses and perform the whole piece together as a class.  In Y6, they explore film music – how it works and how and why it is so effective.  Then they try composing their own.  Y6 also learn about Samba – what it is, how it is structured, and then the class becomes a Samba band and performs a piece in assembly. They learn to work together as a team to produce an end result and to respect each other by listening critically and commenting on music created by different groups. 

IVRIT (Modern Foreign Language)

Our Ivrit curriculum is designed with careful regard to progression as the children go through the school. This includes an increase in the amount and complexity of language which children can understand and use. We expect to see an increasing confidence in children’s understanding and use of language. Children have increased speed and fluency of response and we ensure prior vocabulary is re-uses in different contexts and topics.

The Ivrit curriculum focuses on spoken and conversational Ivrit. The Hebrew reading and writing is learnt in Kodesh lessons. Our Ivrit curriculum includes graduated study units dealing with a variety of topics. From Year 3 onwards, we use the Ivrit Beclick scheme of work developed by Matach, The Centre for Educational Technology in Israel. Each class receives one lesson of Ivrit per week. We have introduced formal assessments from Year 3 onwards at the end of each unit so we can more closely monitor Ivrit teaching and learning. For each unit, the children are expected to know basic vocabulary but as their grammar and sentence structure develops in Key Stage 2, they are expected to be able to use their vocabulary in sentences.

If you would like further information about the curriculum Beit Shvidler Primary School is following, please contact the school via email to m.kleinman@beitshvidler.org.uk and your message will be passed on to the most appropriate member of staff for reply.

YEAR 1 CHOL CURRICULUM
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YEAR 2 CHOL CURRICULUM
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YEAR 3 CHOL CURRICULUM
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YEAR 4 CHOL CURRICULUM
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YEAR 5 CHOL CURRICULUM
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YEAR 6 CHOL CURRICULUM
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YEAR 1 KODESH CURRICULUM
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YEAR 2 KODESH CURRICULUM
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YEAR 3 KODESH CURRICULUM
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YEAR 4 KODESH CURRICULUM
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YEAR 5 KODESH CURRICULUM
YEAR 6 KODESH CURRICULUM
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